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Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism
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Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,364 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The "evangelical feminism" movement is addressed by 22 men and women who have commited their talents to produce the most thorough response yet to the issues raised. All main passages of Scripture that are relevant to the questions are considered. ...more
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Published (first published March 31st 1991)
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♥ Ibrahim ♥
May 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to any Christian who wants to think in terms of our Arab patriarchal thinking where women are owned
My manhood has to be recovered? Once a man always a man. I don't have to stress my manhood to any woman. She should feel safe and secure around me as I lead by example, by being a man of prayer fully devoted to the spiritual life. If she see that, it will be she who will head over with heels for anything going on in my spiritual life. But if I keep reminding the lady about who is head and how much of a "head" I have, she will be pushed away. Why put a wedge between the genders? Why not seek unit ...more
Chad Barnes
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The single most thorough work I've seen on biblical manhood and womanhood. Arguing from a complementarian perspective, Piper and Grudem's work is practical, but also a difficult, thoroughly exegetical, theologically rich read that is not for the faint of heart. I would venture to call this the finest work on biblical manhood and womanhood in print outside of the Bible itself, but would warn that it's content is undoubtedly on par with that of a seminary course.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Because Recovering
Kirsten Kinnell
Jul 15, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i couldn't disagree with Piper and Grudem more. ...more
While I ultimately disagree with the conclusions of this book, it is a well-written and argued case for complementarianism. The greatest strength of the book is its exegetical work and its breadth (including forays in law, psychology, and biology). I found the core biblical argument unconvincing, but again, well-stated. I cannot recommend this book as a resource for better understanding the roles of men and women in the church, but I do recommend it as the classic statement of the complementaria ...more
Leeann Head
Nov 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Does not follow Christ's example of sincere & servant-hearted equality of male & female believers. Disappointed. Phoebe, a female deacon, is praised by Paul, plus other female Christians as active in God's work. Recent search for a balanced bible church uncovered one with this motto listed as what they strive for..i.e.subjugating Christian women in all roles-even secular (!!) vs. empowering women to go beyond dangerously lukewarm participation in all areas of life. A dismal gag-order for over ha ...more
Hannah Reeves
May 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, yuck
Like many people, I read this for research purposes, meaning I read most of it but not cover-to-cover. I'll preface by saying that the one star is for the couple of essays in here that make more compelling arguments, due either to the fact that they rely on scientific studies (that are at least 20 years old and have for the most part been altered or debunked since) or are simply written by contributors with better debate skills or charisma (as much as I disagree with him on multiple issues, incl ...more
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this volume as part of an individual study with a former student of mine at Temple U. She was interested in the evangelical "biblical equality" movement and included this book on her reading list. (She also included another anthology by later antagonists: Discovering Biblical Equality, eds. Pierce and Groothuis.)

A few of the chapters in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood are written by the editor, John Piper. This was my first encounter with Piper, and in the past few years, I have
Tori Samar
I can’t help but wonder how many of this book’s more critical reviews come from Christians who affirm male headship in the church and in marriage, recognize God-ordained differences between men and women, and believe that men and women have ontological and spiritual equality—all core views espoused by this book, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), and complementarianism. My guess is not very many. Yet that’s the strange, uncomfortable position I find myself occupying for this r ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reprehensible
No stars, if I could give negative 5 stars, I would. This book breaks my heart for all the Christians searching for guidance and who will be mislead into thinking that this is God's design for men & women. In this book Piper provides a guide on how to be an abusive and controlling husband and shames both men and women for things neither have any control over such a physical appearance and personality traits. There are so many other things I could write about this book but I am too frustrated to ...more
Sarah Casbeer
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church
Maddening, but to be fair...comprehensive and well written.
it's for response will probably be "No Comment" ...more
Daniel Pike
Jul 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Written by two men, one repeatedly accused of providing for and furthering the physical & sexual abuse of women, children and families in his own church, and another who is currently leading a strong heretical movement within evangelical circles that claims Jesus is eternally submissive to, and without equal authority to, God the Father. This book combines the legalistic and sexual ideals of older, white, American, male megalomaniacs, with the rare and selective scripture references that leave y ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Come for the circular logic, stay for the self-righteous indignation that the many people who disagree have the nerve to disagree. This was a disheartening read of how the Bible can be read through a complementation filter to keep women in their place and men in control. Most of the arguments come down to "men and women are different... obviously. And God agrees with our interpretation of the Bible, obviously. Feminism bad." ...more
Andy Hickman
Jan 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I admire their scholarship but topically I think they have missed it.

Grudem, Wayne, and John Piper, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006.
Pastor Matt
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the risk of being unduly repetitive, this is a work that EVERY minister needs to have at hand.
Raissa Garcia
I enjoyed disagreeing with most things in this book, it was like having an argument with a good friend and leaving it being like “I appreciated this, but it’s still a no for me”. I did love the chapter or should I say couple of paragraphs about benevolent men, and what that really means. Really loved that.... a lot of everything else made me angry but challenged me to see his point of view and make a decision about what I actually thought and believed as well. So if that was the point, 5 stars.. ...more
Jennifer Jennings
John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and I don’t agree on much of anything. As a self proclaimed Jesus loving, radical feminist, I wasn’t sure this book would have much to offer me. But within its pages I found an overwhelming sense of God’s grace and love, an affirmation of my calling to ministry, and a renewed sense of God’s presence in my calling. This was obviously unintentional on Grudem and Piper’s part, but it was in their statement that God doesn’t genuinely call women to ministry where I experienc ...more
Alexis Neal
An excellent text on, well, biblical manhood and womanhood. The authors are not trying to convince the secular world of the validity of complementarian gender roles--they seek only to defend complementarianism against the egalitarianism popular among evangelical feminists. Some of the essays were more persuasive than others (as is often the case), and I do wish they'd spent a little time encouraging women of God's sovereign ability to bless their efforts at biblical womanhood (since so many of u ...more
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
22 contributing authors including Elisabeth Elliot, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and Ray Ortlund Jr. Not written to necessarily be read in its entirety. ( I skipped the appendixes and notes) Very in depth study of what Biblical manhood and womanhood is-an examination of aythe culture, meanings of the Greek words and a realistic view of to apply all of that in today’s world. Topics/chapters include: Male-Female equality, Male headship, What it means not to teach or have authority over men, Rearing m ...more
Andrew Bradbeer
Aug 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't agree with everything written by every contributor - in particular some of the suggestions that women should relate to all men with respectful submission, encouraging them to lead. Even if the woman was in a position of authority in a secular job.

That seemed to be taking it too far, and beyond what the Bible says.

However, as I get older I am more and more sympathetic to the perspectives put forward by most of the authors. I also respect the biblical sholarship of Grudem et. al. An impor
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, 2012
Important, solid biblical instruction for Christians. As others have mentioned, this is more of a textbook or reference guide than a sit-down-and-read-cover-to-cover book, but if you can do the latter, DO. This is such valuable work. From a personal standpoint, it gave me so much hope that eventually Christians, and one day the world, can see eye to eye on this integral issue.

Would love to see an updated version with notes containing recent statistics, as the book was written in the early nineti
Micah Lugg

This book was originally written a decade ago, but it still stands as the best work on the biblical roles of men and women. The authors present sound exegesis and cogent theological reasoning. The church needs to be speaking to these issues of sexuality, equality, and personhood, for they are some of the most decisive issues of our day.

I heartily recommend all Christians to read this book, for believers need to be reminded what the Bible says about the roles of men and women.
This book has a few solid essays (the ones by D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Vern Sheridan Poythress, in particular), some frustrating essays that have little evidence (biblical or otherwise) to back up their theses, and then some scientific essays regarding psychological and biological differences between men and women that are now outdated. The book is worth reading, but I suggest borrowing it before you buy it.
Kimberly  Winters
The reason christian fellowship has become boring and two-dimensional is in part owing to our individual and corporate ignorance of our God-designed biblical manhood and womanhood and the ways in which our embracing (and/or rejecting) that design impacts intimacy between believers. This book guides us back to the soul satisfying fellowship Jesus Christ died to make possible.
J.R. Coltaine
This is the most comprehensive defense of traditional complementarianism out there, featuring a number of scholars from the reformed tradition and covering a wide range of topics regarding men and women, masculinity and femininity. While comprehensive, the book is fairly outdated now, with most of the articles directed at more extreme positions within evangelical feminism. I wish there was an updated version of this book that interacted with the work of more moderate positions and exegesis from ...more
A powerful and necessary account of the complementation position. Comprehensive. As a book in and of itself, somewhat lacking. As advertised, this is not a book to read cover to cover.
- The introductory chapters by Piper and Grudem were good. Piper's "Vision of Biblical Complementarity" is particularly helpful, and is available as a standalone book.
- The Exegetical and Theological Studies were excellent. To my mind these first two sections provide the main value of the book.
- The Studies from
John Shelton
There are actually some good essays in here. I was especially impressed by the inclusion of William Weinrich’s overview of church history. However, the majority of the essays seemed to suffer from some unreflective points about masculinity and gender. Not all the authors seemed to realize that gender is encultured in specific ways and that the evangelical way of thinking about work re gender used roles has much more to do with cultural changes brought about by the industrial revolution rather th ...more
this book doesn't lend itself well to my half attention sometimes full attention others style of listening. Like others have said it's a lot like a comprehensive reference book on Biblical gender issues. The parts that I did listen to carefully left me feeling reassured that in general it was a well written/logical and substantive work. It really sticks close to scripture, addressing and expanding extensively on each passage dealing with gender roles. In the later articles it talks more about th ...more
When I started reading this book, I began writing a list of possible objections that I had to different points they were saying. By the time I was through the book, all of my possible objections were answered. I came into this book as a complementarian--but as one that only held to the bare minimum and that hesitated to make applications from it. After hearing the solid words of advice that the contributors had, I became a lot more confident in what the Bible says on this topic and more ready to ...more
Jared Daugherty
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read for beleivers in Christ Jesus and knowing the importance of gender distinction that was set apart by God for the family as well as for the church. It simple really and we se that most of the problems we see in the home and in the church are a direct consequence of violating God's plans and created order. It is not sexist, but beautiful and ordained by God. Husbands are the head of their wives in the same way that Christ is the head of the church. There can be no other way. Tw ...more
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John Piper is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.), and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel Co

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“This point is often missed by evangelical feminists. They conclude that a difference in function necessarily involves a difference in essence; i.e., if men are in authority over women, then women must be inferior. The relationship between Christ and the Father shows us that this reasoning is flawed. One can possess a different function and still be equal in essence and worth. Women are equal to men in essence and in being; there is no ontological distinction, and yet they have a different function or role in church and home. Such differences do not logically imply inequality or inferiority, just as Christ’s subjection to the Father does not imply His inferiority.” 12 likes
“Authority does not authenticate my person. Authority is not a privilege to be exploited to build up my ego. Authority is a responsibility to be borne for the benefit of others without regard for oneself.This alone is the Christian view.” 0 likes
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